FDA Decision to Relax Chemical Abortion Rule Ignores the Science, Neglects Women, Places Them in Danger

Charlotte Lozier Institute  


Contact: Prudence Robertson, probertson@sbalist.org 


Washington, D.C. – Today Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the research and education arm of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), determined that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to relax enforcement of safety protocols for chemical abortion ignores the risk of increased mortality and morbidity for women taking the abortion pill. A new fact sheet published by CLI highlights the various risks the FDA decision poses, which include but are not limited to:

  • Multiple studies demonstrate that complications are four times more frequent in chemical than surgical abortions. These include emergency room visits, pain and bleeding, possible visualization of the unborn child, and more.
  • Lack of FDA oversight on chemical abortions leads to lack of reporting adverse events if they are non-fatal.
  • Less oversight from a physician will lead to lack of knowledge about the possibility for abortion pill reversal for women who change their mind after taking the first abortion pill.
  • Increased sale of chemical abortion pills on the black market in bulk without an in-person doctor visit will increase the likelihood of women being subjected to chemical abortion without their consent.
  • Chemical abortion is on the rise, and removal of FDA guidelines will only compound this and put more women in danger.

The FDA’s literature review failed to include numerous studies and articles that have found the abortion pill leads to elevated health risks and deprives women of critical medical information and safety precautions related to the use of abortion pills.


Dr. Donna Harrison, CLI Scholar and CEO of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), published a study on this topic covering a 20-year-long period, which was ignored by the FDA. She stated:


“Our review of all the Adverse Events from mifepristone as an abortion drug revealed serious concerns about hemorrhage, infections, and fetal tissue left inside. There were over 500 life-threatening complications, which would have been deaths if the women had not had timely access to the Emergency Room. These women without access to an ER are exactly the women being targeted with abortions by mail, and those who are most at risk of death by patient abandonment. We know from other studies that reports from the FDA only represent a small fraction of the actual adverse events happening to women across the country.”


CLI President Chuck Donovan added:


“Beyond the health risks, the FDA’s action to facilitate abortion by mail aggravates  the risk to women from unsafe black-market abortion pills and from being subjected to chemical abortions without their consent. This decision is dangerous for women and will invite additional abuse of women at the hands of abusive partners and sex traffickers.”


Charlotte Lozier Institute was launched in 2011 as the education and research arm of Susan B. Anthony List. CLI is a hub for research and public policy analysis on some of the most pressing issues facing the United States and nations around the world. The Institute is named for a feminist physician known for her commitment to the sanctity of human life and equal career and educational opportunities for women.  The 175th anniversary of Dr. Charlotte Denman Lozier’s birth occurred on March 15, 2019.



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